Michelle Keenan

Associate Director - Development

Michelle Keenan is the Associate Director of Development at Blue Ridge Public Radio. She began volunteering for the station in 1996 and has been a full-time staff member since 1998.

The daughter of a pilot, Michelle grew up in many places but chose Western North Carolina as her home more than 20 years ago. Michelle has a BA in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Shortly after college Michelle realized what she really wanted to be when she grew up was a philanthropist. Sans silver spoon, she channeled that energy into raising money and a fundraiser was born. Michelle believes deeply in public broadcasting and is proud to be a member of the Blue Ridge Public Radio family.

Michelle enjoys many creative outlets, traveling and spending time with two and four legged family members and good friends.

The Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle is in high gear and we have an Early Bird Prize-winner!

The winner of the mountain getaway and adventure from the Sourwood Inn and Curtis Wright Outfitters is Tricia Franck of Weaverille! Tricia is still in the running for the Grand Prize - the winner's choice of an Audi A3 or Audi Q5 from Audi Asheville!

UPDDATE: THE TICKET TO RIDE SUMMER RAFFLE IS NOW CLOSED.

The 5th annual Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle is in high gear! Support the programming love and win the car of your choice! $116 could put you in a 2016 Audi A3 or Audi Q5 from Audi Asheville.  Only 999 tickets will be sold, so don't wait - be a winner today and ENTER NOW!

Stay tuned to WCQS for live coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions from NPR News and PBS NewsHour. The RNC is July 18 - 21, with coverage beginning each night at 8. The DNC is July 25 - 28, with coverage starting at 8 each night.

For the first time ever, NPR News and PBS NewsHour are teaming up to offer Special Coverage of the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions in collaboration, featuring one team of journalists and one broadcast. This approach is a first for public media.

The wildly popular Asheville Moth StorySLAM is slated to continue for the foreseeable future.  The StorySLAM is a monthly competition, where the stage is open to any and all with a story to tell on the evening's theme. Themes for the rest of 2016 are listed further below in this article.

It's a summertime tradition for classical music lovers in Western North Carolina! WCQS is pleased to once again present Open Air Brevard, music recorded in performance at the renowned Brevard Music Center. Partnering with WDAV Davidson, each week we bring you a glimpse into activities at the Festival, including conversations with the artists and live performances of magnificent music by the artists, faculty, and students at BMC.

Mountain Xpress film critic Ken Hanke passed away this week at the age of 61. WCQS classical music host (and fellow film critic) Chip Kaufmann will pay tribute to Hanke this morning from 11 to 12.

UPDATE: THE TICKET TO RIDE SUMMER RAFFLE IS NOW CLOSED.

We all knew the day was coming, now it's almost here! After 42 years as host and creative force behind A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor will hang up his red shoes July 2nd. We know you'll want to tune your radio and listen during your Independence Day weekend celebrations.

If you'd like to take the celebration up a notch, you can host your own Listening Party. Our friends at A Prairie Home Companion have assembled a Listening Party Starter Kit, complete with:

WCQS will add three new programs to the Sunday afternoon line-up: Fresh Air Weekend, The New Yorker Radio Hour and Reveal. The three-hour block of programming will air from 2 to 5 p.m. beginning June 12.

Fresh Air Weekend collects the best cultural segments from the week’s programs and crafts them together for great weekend listening. Award-winning journalist Terry Gross hosts the show, which will air air Sundays from 2 to 3 p.m.

WCQS will host an opening reception for the paintings of Jackson County Artist, Laura John on June 3rd from 5 - 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. This is also the evening of the Downtown Asheville Arts District First Friday Art Walk. 

WCQS General Manager, David Feingold, is delighted to have the station participate in the vibrant art scene, "Western North Carolina is a rich cultural and artistic tapestry and we hope to showcase parts of that fabric with a rotation of exhibits of artists from throughout the region." 

NPR’s very popular news program, Morning Edition, heard daily on WCQS, is inviting listeners to create their own versions of the program's longtime, iconic theme music composed by Asheville’s BJ Leiderman. Regular Morning Edition listeners have heard the familiar theme every weekday morning since the show's first broadcast in 1979.

Tune in Saturday at 3 for We'll Be Here All Night: Stories for Passover - a Passover special from Table Magazine's National Magazine Award-winning podcast, Vox Tablet. The special features funny, poignant, and thought-provoking stories and conversations that touch on the plagues, on slavery, on food, on the act of story-telling and more. The special is hosted by Sara Ivry and Jonathan Goldstein, with stories from Etgar Keret, Sally Herships, Debbie Nathan, Michael Twitty, and Jonathan Groubert.

Tune in Tuesday morning at 10 and Thursday night at 8 for the broadcast of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra's March concert, "Romeo & Juliet".  The concert featured Elgar's "Chanson de Matin and Chanson de Nuit", Mozart's "Piano Concerto No. 21," featuring guest pianist Shen Lu. The program concludes with Berlioz's "Romeo and Juliet."

WCQS had a big day in Hendersonville on April 5. The day began with a meeting of the WCQS Community Forum and was capped off that evening with a reception for longtime donors and business supporters.

The Community Forum was held at St. James Episcopal Church. The meeting was well attended. Among the topics discussed was the possibility of a joint project with Carolina Public Press to cover the issues of health care in Western North Carolina.

Classical Music host Josh Jourdan took a leave of absence from WCQS last year to serve active duty with the US Navy. Josh is a Petty Officer 2nd Class. He is currently working in military intelligence overseas. 

We recently heard from Josh when he had a rare couple of hours to himself. He said he's extremely busy but that he misses everyone terribly. When we asked if we could provide an update to listeners, he said, "Sure. Please tell them I'm tired but fine, and I'll be back as soon as I can and look forward to reconnecting with them." 

Last fall WCQS tried a new approach to fundraising - raise the goal without interruption to programming. The response was overwhelmingly positive! You helped us eliminate the traditional On-Air Membership Drive by responding to brief reminders during regularly scheduled breaks. Now it's time to turn the page on 30 years of interruptive fundraisers forever and prove that last fall wasn't a fluke. Let's work together to make this the new, smart-model for fundraising. 

Listen Tuesday, March 15 at 8 pm for special live coverage of the Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio primaries anchored by NPR's Ari Shapiro and Rachel Martin.

Coverage on WCQS will also include live updates on the NC Bond Issue, Buncombe County Commission Races and more.

That's this Tuesday at 8 pm on WCQS.

The 'Fifth Beatle' legendary record producer George Martin died March 8, 2016 at the age of 90. This weekend we'll remember him with a special appreciation from PRX. Radio Producer Paul Ingles mines his many documentaries on Beatles albums for a few stories that show off producer George Martin’s contributions to Beatles records.

After 30 years of service, WCQS News Director David Hurand is set to leave March 31, 2016.

David joined WCQS in 1986 when it was still a start up. In the years since, the station has become a trusted and respected source of news and information in Western North Carolina.

Jason Beaubien

Last November NPR staffers rescued a chicken outside the network's Washington, D.C. headquarters from a busy city street. Adam Cole, who runs NPR’s Skunk Bear YouTube channel and Tumblr, first spotted the chicken. Apparently, after resolving to pluck the chicken from danger, a chase ensued and some minutes later Cole emerged with grass stains on his knees and chicken in hand (although not before said chicken managed to cross the road, begging the proverbial question . . . ).

The Knights, a critically acclaimed orchestral collective, will be featured on WCQS on February 22 and 23. WCQS Music Director Dick Kowal will interview members of the group Monday at 1 p.m. The ensemble will also be featured on The State of Things on Tuesday, February 23 at Noon.

Our guests for the next Friday@2 will be The Three Davids; David Holt, David LaMotte, and David Wilcox. Each David well known in their own right, The Three Davids will bring us their unique blend of styles in live performance from our studios Friday @2, just before their show at Asheville's Diana Wortham Theatre on February 20th.

The monthly Moth StorySLAM at The Mothlight at Mr. Fred's is a huge hit! StorySLAMs are monthly competitions, where the stage is open to any and all with a story to tell on the evening's theme.

Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Each show starts with a theme, and the storytellers explore it, often in unexpected ways. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience.

Time is running out to make year-end tax deductible gift for 2015. Your support today makes everything you hear tomorrow possible.

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed legislation that reinstates the Charitable IRA Rollover and makes the IRA rollover permanent and retroactive to December 31, 2014. This allows people to make tax-free distributions from Traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) to qualified non-profit organizations, such as WCQS - Western North Carolina Public Radio. 

True to its spirit of music discovery, NPR Music is kicking off the New Year with an invite to unsigned artists of all genres to participate in the 2016 Tiny Desk Contest: Show them why you should perform in NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series. The winner will secure a spot at the iconic performance space and a U.S. tour with NPR Music.

Thanks to everyone who has already contributed to our year-end giving campaign! Our 1-Day pledge drive and year-end giving kickoff on December 8 was a wonderful success. We are happy to report that listeners from throughout the region rallied their support for WCQS to meet $10,000 HomeTrust Challenge for Homeward Bound.

Today is our 1-day membership drive to kick-off year-end giving. To celebrate the drive, the strength of our community and this season of giving, every gift made between 7 a.m. - Noon will be matched by HomeTrust Bank for Homeward Bound, up to $10,000. 

$10,000 for WCQS by noon means $10,000 for Homeward Bound’s AHOPE Center.

Today is our 1-day membership drive to kick-off year-end giving. To celebrate the drive, the strength of our community and this season of giving, every gift made between 7 a.m. - Noon will be matched by HomeTrust Bank for Homeward Bound, up to $10,000. 

$10,000 for WCQS by noon means $10,000 for Homeward Bound’s AHOPE Center.

Tuesday, December 8, WCQS will host a 1-day membership drive to kick-off its year-end giving campaign. To celebrate the drive, the strength of our community and this season of giving, every gift made between 7 a.m. - Noon will be matched by HomeTrust Bank for Homeward Bound, up to $10,000. 

$10,000 for WCQS by noon means $10,000 for Homeward Bound’s AHOPE Center.

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